Archive for the ‘ ~2 to 3 Miles~ ’ Category

Allens Pond West – Dartmouth

  • Allens Pond West
  • Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°30’24.53″N, 71° 1’25.18″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 1, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy trails with rocky beach walk.

                                                                            

Allens Pond is a Masachusetts Audubon property along Buzzards Bay. The property offers 6 to 7 miles of trails. It is a diverse and beautiful property offering several types of features from beaches to fields to woodlands. With that being said, I have decided to break the property into three separate hikes to maximize visiting all of the trails without having an overwhelming hike distance. This hike, the third, covers the western portion of the property. Starting from the Field Station parking area stay to the left and follow the grass mowed trail towards an opening in a stone wall. The trail crosses through another grass field before coming to a dirt road. Turn left here and almost immediately you will be turning right passing an open gate. You are now on the Quansett Trail. You start getting your first glimpses of Allens Pond on the right. Ahead you will cross a stone wall. Here a rather extensive boardwalk begins. The first highlight is a viewing area to the right. The second, just after the bend is a bridge that crosses over a marshy area. The trail, back on land now, traverses through thickets, pass boulders and more stone walls before coming to a stretch of “stepping stones”. At the next intersection there is a distinctive boulder. Stay to the left here and continue following the Quansett Trail. You will cross a small brook before coming to the Tree Top Trail. Again bear to the left and continue on he Quansett Trail. You will come upon more boulders and a “stretch of green” featuring skunk cabbage and fiddleheads in early spring. For this hike, turn right at the next intersection onto the Fresh Pond Trail. (The Quansett Trail continues ahead here into the central part of the property.) Along the trail to the left is a spur to Poison Ivy Rock. There is a nice view of the cove here and a good spot to take a break. I did not see any poison ivy! Continuing along the Fresh Pond Trail you will soon come to the trails namesake on the right. Look for nesting swans and geese here along with several other birds. The trail then turns to the right passing a sitting area before coming to the “stone bridge”. Here you will get another glimpse of Fresh Pond to the right. After crossing the bridge the trail ends in a bit completing a loop. Turn left back onto the Quansett Trail, passing the stepping stones, boardwalks, and to the dirt road. Turn left onto the dirt road and follow it about a tenth of a mile to an area with sweeping views of Allens Pond. Look for osprey atop the pole, herons, and egrets. There will be a information kiosk on the right with a sandy path. Follow this path to the rocky beach. At the beach you will see the Elizabeth Islands in the distance. On a clear day you may be able to make out the Gosnald Tower near the end of Cuttyhunk, the island to the right. Turn right onto the beach and follow it to the large outcrop. The trail then climbs over the outcrop coming back down the other side to another rocky beach. After the zigzagged stone walls to the right the trail turns to the right coming into a grass field. From here follow the grass mowed path to the parking area. Check out the Bayside Restaurant across the street for their blueberry pie!!

 

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond West

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Stone Walls and Boardwalks

Dike Creek Reserve – Dartmouth

  • Dike Creek Reserve
  • Bakerville Road, Dartmouth, MA
  • Trailhead:  41°34’30.85″N, 70°58’38.22″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 10, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.5 miles
  • Fairly easy, some roots here and there.

Looking for a beautiful easy hike, fairly flat, no hills, fields, woods, streams, and water views? Dike Creek Reserve is the place to check out. Starting from the parking area, make your way into the property by following a red blaze access trail that runs along a working farm. The trail then moves into a section of woodlands for a bit. A newly built boardwalk carries you over the wet areas. The trail then comes back to another field, continue ahead going slightly downhill for the length of the field. The trail now enters the woods once again. In a bit you will come to a trail intersection. For this hike, turn left onto the blue blazed trail and follow it to its end. Along the way there is another set of boardwalks and a bridge that crosses a small stream. Turn right onto the white blazed trail and will soon be at a long boardwalk. Near the end of the boardwalk the red trail intersects. Here will eventually want to go left. But first, continue ahead a bit, passing a trail on the right, to a dead end that has a sweeping view of Dike Creek. Retracing your steps take a peek down the red trail now on your left. There is another bridge here that crosses a well worn stream. Retracing your steps once again back to the end of the white blazed trail, turn right onto the red blazed trail. It soon passes through a stone wall winding ever so slightly uphill to another stone wall and a vineyard. From here turn right and follow the yellow blazes back into the woods. The trail makes a loop through the northern part of the property with another spot to view Dikes Creek. After doing the loop retrace your steps back to the red blazed trail. Here continue straight ahead following the perimeter of the vineyard and the end of the red trail. Turn left onto the white blazed trail as it zig zags back to the intersection with the blue trail. Turn right onto the blue trail, then right onto the red and follow it back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Dike Creek

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Annawumscutt Brook Trail – East Providence

  • Annawumscutt Brook Trail
  • Rounds Avenue, East Providence, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°46’6.08″N, 71°20’27.82″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 3, 2021
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Moderate due to no blazing, seasonal mud, and water crossings, otherwise easy.

 

This trail in the Riverside section of East Providence runs mostly along the Annawumscutt Brook from Rounds Avenue to the Riverside Middle School. Starting from a stone covered parking area opposite the Evangelical Covenant Church on Rounds Avenue, you will follow the trail into the woods. When you approach the first intersection turn left. Soon there will be a small hill to your left. Follow the trail ahead here keeping right of the hill. After the hill follow the trail to the left. You will get you first glimpse of the brook here and will likely see ducks and other water fowl. The trail will seen reach the first crossing of the brook. This crossing is almost always fairly easy. After the crossing bear to your right. The trail comes out to a grassy area. Continue ahead to the row of rocks and the trail heads back into the woods. In about a hundred feet the trail splits. Turn right here, the trail almost immediately turns left and is now following the brook once again. Ahead there will be an intersection of brooks. You will want to cross the brook here. After any substantial rain or in the spring, this crossing will be impossible without stepping into the water. You will get wet! The trail continues, now with the brook on the left. Soon the trail veers to the right and heads deeper into the woods. It soon comes to a former fire lane. Turn left here and you will soon be back to the brook and you will likely get wet again crossing it.  Continuing ahead the trail will pass a trail on the left that comes in from the Oldham School, continue straight. The trail soon takes a sharp right and continues north with the Forbes Street Solar Farm on the right. There will be a trail that comes in from the left that leads through private property, continue ahead here. (Smile you’re on camera!) The trail then comes to an intersection. Ahead is the DPW stockpile area. You are not allowed in there, so turn to the left and follow the trail to the next brook crossing. This crossing is usually much easier than the last two. After the brook crossing turn right. Almost immediately there is a trail intersection that veers to the left. Continue straight here and follow the trail along the brook. The trail then bends to the left, zig zags slightly before ending at the big red rock at the parking lot of the Riverside Middle School. You are at the mile mark! From here retrace your steps back to Rounds Avenue. There are other trails in the area, none marked, be sure to use GPS if you wander around and keep in mind the solar farm and DPW facility are off limits.

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Along the Annawumscutt Brook Trail.

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Annawumscutt Brook Trail in Red, Other Trails in White.

Allens Pond Central – Dartmouth

                                                                            

This sprawling Massachusetts Audubon property offers all sorts of scenes. Farm fields, woodlands, marshes, and ocean views. To maximize visiting all of the trails here I broke the hike into three sections (East, West, and Central). This hike explores the central part of the property. Starting from the “Stone Barn” trailhead off of Horseneck Road, follow the trail to the west through an open field. The trail turns to the south and intersects shortly with another trail to the left. That trail will lead you to the eastern part of the property. For this hike continue ahead into the next field. Soon you will pass a shelter and a wooden fence. The trail turns to the left and then right into a stretch of woodlands. Just into the woods there is an inviting rock to sit. Take the moment. You will here will hear the chipmunks and squirrels rustling, maybe the sound of a woodpecker. I had got a glimpse of a deer here and some wild turkey. The trail continues ahead for a bit offering glimpses of Allens Pond to the left. When you get to the long stone wall stay to the left. This is the Ruebens Point Trail. Scramble up the outcrop to the left of the wall and ahead is a scenic view of the pond complete with a sitting bench. From here follow the trail down the stone steps and turn left at the next intersection. This trail leads to the point. Returning, take a left at the intersection onto the Zylfee Brook Trail and follow it to the next overlook. From here retrace your steps a few feet, turn left then right back onto the Quansett Trail. You will turn left and then follow the long stone wall (now on your right) back to the next trail intersection. From here continue straight and follow the trail back to the parking area.

 

Map can be found at: Allens Pond Central

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Allens Cove From the Rueben Point Viewpoint

Almy Reservoir – Johnston

  • Almy Reservoir
  • Reservoir Avenue, Johnston, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°48’56.50″N, 71°31’43.92″W
  • Last Time Hiked: December 12, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.6 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation, crossing at brooks can be difficult.

Wood Lake Park is host to several ball fields, a playground, and a dog park. Behind it are a network of trails that are on land owned by both the Town of Johnston and the Johnston Land Trust. Park by field 4 and walk up the access road to the dog park. Cut through the dog park to access the trail head. The trail turns slightly to the north and comes to a four way intersection. The trail to the left leads back to the backside of the ball field. The trail to the right will lead you to both the reservoir and another trail that reaches into the southern end of the property both which dead end. The trail straight ahead will lead you to Dry Brook, which coincidentally is not so dry after some rain. After crossing the brook there is a small maze of trails that lead to a peninsula and a small loop that brings you to a chimney from an old homestead. The trail continues north here but crosses onto private property just beyond the chimney. Trails are not blazed here. Exploring all the trails out and back on public property gave us a hike of two and half miles. The stone walls here are spectacular!

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Almy Reservoir

Westerly Town Forest – Westerly

There are approximately three miles of trails here at Westerly Town Forest. The property sits on a long descending hill from Laurel Avenue to the banks of the Pawcatuck River. For this 2 mile hike you will follow the entrance trail from the parking area under the power lines to the beginning of the yellow blazed trail. The trail marked occasionally with large granite posts and trail blazes starts its slow descent downhill. After a stone wall, the trail turns to the right and then to the left and continues ahead. You will come across the first of some trail improvements along this stretch with a small new section of boardwalk. At the next intersection turn right to follow the yellow blazed trail. The trail ahead loops back. The trail soon flanks a small stream. Just ahead is another trail intersection. To the right is another new bridge. Continue straight ahead here. The trail narrows a bit, then veers to the right and crosses a stream. Just ahead is another granite post. Here turn left and follow the trail over a section of raised boardwalk, pass a stone wall, and to the banks of the Pawcatuck River. Take a moment here before retracing your steps back to the yellow trail. When you arrive back at the yellow trail turn left. You will begin your long steady climb back up hill. The trail comes to an intersection. If you wanted to add mileage continue straight onto the blue (and eventually red) blazed trails. For this hike turn right continuing to follow the yellow blazes. You will soon turn left again following the yellow blazes along a trail with a stone wall running along it. The yellow blazed trail ends at the power lines. Here turn right onto the trail the weaves through the shrubs under the power lines. This trail soon leads you back to the parking area.

Map can be found at: Westerly Town Forest.

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Boardwalk at Westerly Town Forest

Watson Farm – Jamestown

  • Watson Farm
  • North Road, Jamestown, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°31’11.33″N, 71°22’47.07″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 5, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.0 miles
  • Fairly easy with some elevation.

 

A Historic New England property, Watson Farm is a active working farm on the western slope of Conanicut Island with sweeping views of the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. Because it is a working farm it is only open to the public on certain days. There is also an entrance fee payable at the barn where the self guided walking tour begins. A trail map in a booklet will be provided to you. Also, it is advisable to check the tides before embarking to the shore. The barn itself offers quite a bit of New England history, different tools, saddles, and other equipment is visible. The animals were not in the barn at the time of this visit (other than a lumbering gray cat). Farm animals are likely to be in different areas of the farm at different times. To begin the walk, from the barn follow the dirt road between the barn and historic 1796 farmhouse uphill and then stay to the right. You will pass another farm structure to the right before cresting the hill at a farm gate. Take a peek behind you at the top of the hill. You will catch a glimpse of the towers of the Newport Bridge. Continuing ahead the road turns slightly to the left and the windmill becomes visible. The windmill here at Watson Farm is used to supply water throughout the farm by pumping it from below. Carrying on, the road turns slightly downhill giving you the first glimpses of the West Passage. There are sporadic single standing trees throughout the fields. These trees serve as shade for the farm animals. Soon the road splits. There is a sign here indicating to turn left for the short loop. For this hike continue ahead and downhill to the next split where there is another sign indicating the “Path to the Bay”. Turn left here, you will see a large outcrop of pudding-stone to your right before coming to a four way intersection by a stone wall. Turn right here, keeping the wall to your left for a bit. The pathway continues downhill. You will now have views of the Jamestown Bridge and Plum Island Lighthouse to your right across the fields. At the end of the path there is a gate. If it is closed, be sure to close it behind you after passing through it. The path now narrows as it turns to the left for a few feet, then right and downhill through some trees before reaching the shore. It is best to check the tides before reaching this point. High tide will leave only a narrow strand of beach. It is best to follow the shoreline at low tide as the beach is wider and offers a variety of stones and shells to view. When you reach the shore turn to the left and follow the shore away from the bridge behind you. The land ahead of you is Dutch Island. You will notice a portion of wall that was once of a long abandoned building. Dutch Island served the military for several years before being abandoned entirely. The island is now a State Management Area only accessible by boat. To the left of Dutch Island is Fort Getty, now a summer campground. Following the shore it soon bends to the left. Start looking for the “Buoy Post” where you want to turn left to get back onto the farm trails. Be sure to close the gate once again and continue ahead. From here you will continue straight gently uphill passing first a trail to the left before winding through an old orchard. Next you will pass through a gate, then a stone wall while traversing through large open fields. After the stone wall, the trail turns to the left and climbs gently uphill again before coming to the a trail intersection. Here continue straight ahead passing another stone wall. You will pass a pollinator garden on the right before coming to an old wagon parked behind the old farmhouse. The road then turns slightly to the right back to the barn. For more information click here.

A Lone Tree In A Field

Table Rock Trail – Hopkinton

  • Table Rock Trail
  • Stubtown Road, Hopkinton, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°30’1.04″N, 71°46’20.93″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 25, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.8 miles
  • Moderate, some elevation, rocky footing in areas.

 

The aptly named Table Rock Trail is the newest trail in the Canonchet Preserves of Hopkinton. This hike is done to complete a loop rather than an out and back hike. For this hike I’ve opted to eliminate the road walking first. With that being said, from the parking area at the dead end of Stubtown Road start walking down the road (easterly) from where you drove in. You will pass a few homes and the parking area for Ashville Pond. At nine tenths of a mile, just after utility pole 6 turn right onto the orange blazed trail. This is the Table Rock Trail. For the next 1.2 miles this trail winds up and down several hills, follows ridge lines, crosses brooks, weaves through an archaeological site, passes stone walls, and by an abundance of mountain laurel speckled with rhododendrons. You will come upon the table rock formation the trail is named for as well as an old foundation and boulders put here by the glaciers. At the end of the orange blazed trail turn right onto the yellow blazed Canonchet Trail. The remainder of the hike, uphill at that, follows the yellow blazes pass cairns, a massive boulder, and stone walls flanking the lane that was once the western end of Stubtown Road. The trail eventually comes to Stubtown Road where you have started the hike. When archery hunting is allowed here from October 1st through January 31st, be sure to wear orange.

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The Table Rock

Big River Quarry – West Greenwich

  • Big River Quarry _ Big River Management Area
  • Division Road, West Greenwich, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°38’56.62″N, 71°34’27.20″W
  • Last Time Hiked: May 9, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.2 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This hike follows the perimeter of Rhode Islands Desert. Yes! Desert! This part of Big River is actually an abandoned quarry and gravel pit with large areas of sand, dunes, and pine trees. With all of Big River, there are no blazed trails here and there are plenty of side trails. For this hike, I followed the “trail” that currently appears on Google Maps and the Map My Hike app. To access it follow the gravel road into Big River from Division Road. There will be three paths to the right. The first is quite narrow, the second much more defined, and the third is just as defined. Ignore the first two and turn right at the third. This will lead you to the “trail” on the app. For almost the remainder of this hike you will follow the trail on the app. If you are not using an app, this is a great place to wander around, keeping tree lines of  the perimeter as a basic guide to the hike. Following the trail, you will first come upon a pond before winding through areas of pine trees. You will catch glimpses of the dunes along the way. As the trail reaches its western extent it turns to the south and then through an area of low shrubs and grass. Back and forth through the pines, the trail then turns and follows the eastern edge of the desert. Near the end of the trail just before it turns onto Hopkins Hill Road turn left and follow the path downhill to the gravel road you entered on. Turn right here and follow back to the parking area.

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Rhode Island’s Desert

DeCoppett North – Richmond

  • DeCoppett North – DeCoppett State Management Area
  • Old Mountain Road, Richmond, RI
  • Trailhead:  41°32’16.02″N, 71°38’29.72″W
  • Last Time Hiked: April 25, 2020
  • Approximate distance hiked: 2.3 miles
  • Fairly easy.

 

This hike in the northern end of DeCoppett is an out and back hike along an old cart path. Starting from the gated entry at Old Mountain Road, you are immediately greeted by two large boulders on the left. This is just a glimpse of the hike ahead. The cart path is flanked by boulders and stone walls almost all the way to Hillsdale Road. Not very far into the property and on the left is the George Beverly cemetery. The graves here date back to 1870. At the half mile and on the left there is an opening in the stone wall and a faded trail that leads to another cemetery. At the three quarter mile mark along the cart path and on the left again are the remains of a rather large foundation. At the end of the cart path turn left on the paved Hillsdale Road and follow it a few feet for a glimpse of the Beaver River. From here retrace you steps back to Old Mountain Road.

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Large Boulder Along The Trail